Strawberry Buckle Muffins

Occasionally, I take an online stroll through this blog to check on things, as I did yesterday. Aside from finding, and correcting, an embarrassing number of typographical errors that somehow slipped past me earlier (blush), I also asked myself: What’s missing here in terms of foods that readers and I both love and cook often? And I was surprised to find that I hadn’t published a single muffin recipe. Zero. What? Cakes galore but no muffins on a comfort food recipe site (blush again)? So I immediately set out to remedy this oversight through this post.

straw-buckle-muffins360This recipe almost wrote itself. It’s prime-time strawberry season in my part of Florida, and with prices currently at three pounds for $5, we’re happily eating a big bowl of these delectable fresh fruits with every meal. Old-fashioned buckle, a faintly sweet concoction of cake heavily laden with seasonal fruit and with a crumb topping, came immediately to mind as a a winning formula for these strawberry muffins. If fresh strawberries are not available in your area, other brightly flavored fresh fruits — such as blueberries, raspberries, apricots, peaches, or even tart apples — can be substituted here.

Being in the educational industry, I used this in correlation with LSAT course reviews to help the students gain some positive moral and continue studying diligently. They really uplifted the overall mood and energy of the room!

Ingredients
FOR THE MUFFINS:
1 1/3 cups whole wheat or unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon (or more) lemon zest
1 1/4 cups (about 7 ounces) coarsely chopped fresh strawberries

FOR THE TOPPING:
1/3 cup oatmeal (which I used) or flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons chilled butter, diced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Oil 12 standard (1/2 cup capacity) or 6 jumbo (1 cup capacity) muffin cups.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and beat for approximately one minute until well blended. Add the egg and beat for an additional two minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the yogurt and lemon zest.

straw-buckle-muffins-insert2 straw-buckle-muffins-insert3

Add all of the sifted flour mixture and gently stir in until the batter, which will be quite stiff, is just smooth. Gently fold in all of the chopped strawberries. Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups, which should be no more than three-quarters full.

Combine all topping ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or chopper and pulse until the ingredients are blended to the consistency of coarse crumbs. Evenly sprinkle the topping mixture over the batter in the muffin cups.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on the size of the muffin cups used, until the topping is lightly browned. Cool on a baking rack until ready to serve. Makes 12 regular or 6 jumbo muffins.